Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 19: Electronic Edition

Pages 41 - 45 of 217

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    Three lines from the bottom of that page 40 you
 1accuse me of rendering my footnotes deliberately opaque.
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can you think of any reason why a researcher or writer who
 4has spent a lot of his private funds, who is not a tenured
 5professor, who is entirely reliant on his professional
 6income, obtaining access to sources, might wish to leave
 7his footnotes opaque?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. Either in the case of your extremely vague
 9references to the author Ingrid Weckert in your account of
10the Reichskristallnacht, because that source is
11discreditable, because she is an anti-semitic politically
12motivated falsifier of history upon whom you rely in part
13of your account ----
14 MR IRVING:     Do you consider that anti-semitic ----
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let him finish his answer and then ask you
16next question.
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Or that the sources do in fact, if anybody goes to the
18immense trouble of tracking them down as in the instance
19we already mentioned on Thursday, the evidence of the
20policeman Hoffmann at the 1924 trial of Hitler, if that
21source in fact contains things which you do not want to
22appear and you do not want people to know about. So it is
23a kind of judgment call on your part that you need to give
24a source, but you do not want people to find out too
25easily what is there.
26 MR IRVING:     Can you think of no innocent explanation why the

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 1aforementioned author might leave his sources opaque?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the kind of scholar and academic who
 4will pretend that he has done the research, who will
 5pretend that he too has been to Canberra and Ottowa and
 6Washington and Moscow, he will quite the file and he will
 7quote the document number and even the page number in that
 8file to give the impression that he has been there and
 9done the work?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Give me an example.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am just asking you if are familiar with that kind of
13 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I cannot think of any examples. Try and give me one.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is that legitimate, I really do not know as a
15matter of a historian's proper approach? If you have seen
16some other historian give a reference for a
17particular proposition as being File X in the Washington
18archive or wherever, is it then illegitimate for the next
19historian simply to cite that as being the authority
20without actually going to the Washington archive and
21looking for himself?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, it is normal, my Lord, to say file so and so in the
23archive as cited in such and such a book. If you simply
24say file so and so in the archive, that does suggest you
25have been there. It is what I would call slightly sharp

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 1 MR IRVING:     If, for example, you found in a book by David
 2Irving on Winston Churchill unusual sources and you were
 3an academic and a scholar, if you did not want to be
 4associated with him, would there be a temptation just to
 5use that file in the French National Archives or whatever
 6it is and pretend you had seen it yourself, but not of
 7course that you had it from David Irving's book? Would
 8there be that temptation?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would not be tempted. I can only answer for myself.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     You would not be tempted to use the source?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would want to go, if that was the work I was doing, to
12the archive and check the source. I would not take it on
13trust as it appears in your work.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Even if you could go to some archives like the Institute
15of History where I did in the meantime deposit all the
16records so that you could check it out? Do you appreciate
17that there might be an innocent reason on the basis of
18what I have said, on the basis of my questions, why an
19author might sometimes wish to make it slightly less easy
20for a crooked scholar to steal his brain work?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You would have to show that there were crooked scholars
22around who are all desperate to steal your brain work.
23I do not believe that that is the case, so I do not really
24accept that there are innocent reasons. It is quite
25straightforward. If you cite an original or any source,
26if you use a source in your work, you footnote it in order

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 1to enable other historians to go and find it and you are
 2as helpful as possible to them. It is part of the kind of
 3checks and controls which historians have, and this
 4curious way we have to enable other people to challenge
 5our own work and to falsify it and say that we are wrong.
 6It is part of what I would call being an objective
 7historian is.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you agree that there are two kinds of books? There are
 9the super academic works as submitted for PhDs or for some
10other kind of academic qualifications where everything has
11to be rigorously footnoted according to a standard scheme,
12and books which are sold in Books Etc. and Waterstones
13where books have to fit in within a reasonable size,
14number of pages, and that, if you put all the footnotes in
15to that scheme, you are going to end up with an
16uncommercial book. Do you agree with that proposition?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not really, no. I think there is a large kind of scale of
18books, or a spectrum of books, from the academic PhD
19theses which is not really publishable as a book in many
20cases and has to be rewritten, where everything has to be
21all the Is dotted and all the Ts crossed all the way down
22to very general non-fiction books which do not have any
23footnotes in at all and everything in between. So I think
24there is a very wide spectrum. In respect of your works,
25Mr Irving, Hitler's War is over 800 pages long. It is a
26very long book, and the claim that you make for it is that

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 1it is based on an enormous mass of research and there are
 2a lot of footnotes in it. It does give the appearance, as
 3your other books do, of being a scholarly work. You make
 4a great deal of the fact that you use a large number of
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Professor Evans, when your researchers were researching in
 7my files at the Institute of History in Munich, did they
 8come across a thick file there which was about 1,000 pages
 9long, consisting of the original annotated footnotes of
10Hitler's War which were referenced by number to every
11single sentence in that book?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     It was not part of the published corpus, it was part of
14the original manuscript, but it was chopped out because of
15the length.
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, we did not see that.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you seen isolated pages of that in my discovery in so
18far as it related to episodes which were of interest, like
19the Reichskristallnacht?
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not, to be honest, recall, but that does not mean to
21say that we have not seen them.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     You said that my footnotes are opaque because they do not
23always give the page reference. Do you agree that, on a
24page which we are going to come across in the course of
25this morning, of your own expert report, you put a
26footnote in just saying "see van Pelt's report", see

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